PHILADELPHIA - A bill requiring community approval for supervised injection sites advanced to full council vote on Monday.
The bill, introduced by Councilman David Oh, requires the City of Philadelphia to hold public hearings and get approval from impacted communities and council before opening a supervised injection site.
"The passage of the bill is an important step in addressing the unprecedented issue of supervised injection sites,” said Oh.
The legislation originally required 90 percent approval from residents, businesses, and institutions within a one-mile radius. The amended version lowers the approval threshold to 80 percent within a half-mile and also includes amended language to cover “mobile” supervised injection sites.
The legislation will move to the floor for a full vote before council next Thursday.
Penn Medical Center anesthesiologist Dr. Bonnie Milas lost both her children to opioid overdose.
"I have lived at ground zero—ground zero that was my home," she said.
It was an author and radio host Solomon Jones, who is 23 years sober, touching probably the most sensitive nerve in the room.
"This is an issue of race because when it was us there were jails, institutions and death, but now, it's safe injection sites with cushy places for people to go to and use drugs. That's wrong. That's structural racism and it must stop," he said.
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